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“If gas were cheaper, I would eat lunch here every day” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Refectory Cafe & Juice Bar

The Refectory Cafe & Juice Bar
2726 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd, Durham, NC 27707
919.908.6798
Website
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Ranked #20 of 653 Restaurants in Durham
Price range: $5 - $15
Cuisines: Bakery, Coffee Shop, Bar, Bistro
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Dinner
Description: "Slow Food, Fast", this award Winning Cafe is focused on Hot, healthy, homemade & Local fare. Duke University's first "Green Cafe" started in 2005, won best food on campus 7 Years in a row and Duke University's Environmental Leadership Award. The Refectory Cafe "on the Boulevard" opened September 2012 and continues the tradition of great homemade soups, fresh local produce, eggs, beef, chicken and simply amazing desserts. Vegan, vegetarian, Gluten Free, Raw or Plant Based The Refectory Cafe caters to all dietary preferences. Award winning VEGAN, GF DAL, Chili and soups; delicious panini on locally made bread; "breakfast of champions" with amazing grits, local eggs, biscuits, Tofu scrambles, baked oatmeal, local sausage and more; Delicious Dinners of Chicken Picatta, Blackened or Grilled Salmon, Steak Frites, soups, salads & more.
Morrisville, North Carolina
Top Contributor
115 reviews 115 reviews
84 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
“If gas were cheaper, I would eat lunch here every day”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 6, 2014

The soups here are to die for - the lemon lentil, potato leek, tomato, chicken and dumpling would be enough to keep me going to weeks. Add nice fresh salad (love the kale/miso), great baked goods and other daily specials like sliders, seafood salads and you could eat here for a year and never get bored with the combination of fresh options. Service is fast and quick and the inside and outside seating are plentiful. I would describe this place as quaint and no frills or healthy fast food. It looks a bit like a cafeteria complete with trays etc. They also have some great smoothie and juice options and I hear that breakfast and lunch are to die for. If I have to reccomend one lunch items it would be the Dal which is a Indian lentil dish served with brown rice and a side salad - it was fantastic and just the right spice.

  • Visited May 2014
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Laura H, Owner at The Refectory Cafe & Juice Bar, responded to this review, May 8, 2014
Hello Emjai,

If buildings were cheaper we would set up another cafe in Morrisville, NC. Just for you and our other customers driving from Raleigh & Cary. Thank you for making the trip - regularly :-) - and thank you for sharing your thoughts with TripAdvisor!

The soups are pretty amazing and we love giving people samples so they can "try before they buy". It always ends up being too many choices. We have been known to mix a few on request! That potato leek with the Spicy Chicken Verde is spectacular.

Table service is now available on request and dinners will move to all Table Service when our "spirits license" kicks in next week. Woohoo!

We are grateful for your comments and the "5-Star" review. Awesome! :-) We will continue to strive to make each experience an exceptional one for you.

All the best,

Laura
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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52 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    32
    14
    5
    1
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Durham, North Carolina
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“My favorite place in the triangle for daily eating”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2014

I eat breakfast and lunch at the Refectory at least twice a week, sometimes more. I love it. I usually get in in the morning have breakfast, work, listen to the music they play, have lunch, work some more. I have tried almost everything they have on the menu. Very healthy and at the same time delicious food. One thing I particularly like is that they offer many dishes that are not found in your usual cafe (e.g. Chicken verde, their AMAZING indian lentil and chickpea dal, vietnamese Bahn Mi, a series of pretty fabulous veggie or meat sliders...). They focus on healthy eating (with many juices, vegan and protein packed selections) but they are even more focused on just good food. Everything I have had has been perfectly cooked.
And their baked goods... don't even get me started. Particularly interesting are the raw raspberry and key lime pies, made completely of raw ingredients. I am as carnivore as they come, yet very often I will choose one of their vegan options just 'cause they're so good.
Finally, the service is great. The owner is usually there, and you can see that the employees believe in what they do and are happy to discuss dishes and options with you.
I wholeheartedly recommend this place.

  • Visited April 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Laura H, Owner at The Refectory Cafe & Juice Bar, responded to this review, April 18, 2014
Hello Bruno,
I wish you could see the delight on the faces of the entire team of Refectory folks (that create the meals, serve the customers and happily keep the Refectory spotlessly clean), when they saw your review.

You made our day! And it will continue to be our pleasure to make your day, every day.

Thank you for being a fan and thank you very much for taking the time to share your experience on TripAdvisor.

Please let us know if there is anything we can do for you.

Have a great holiday & thank you for your kindness,

Laura
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durham, NC
Top Contributor
96 reviews 96 reviews
52 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
“Don't be Fooled by Appearance, Food is Good”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2014

On a late Sunday morning we were looking for a place for brunch and found The Refectory on Trip Advisor. We didn't read the reviews but chose this restaurant based on the ranking. I must admit I was taken aback when walking in. I did not expect the cafeteria style restaurant. I am glad we stayed. The restaurant was buzzing and the staff was welcoming and friendly. The food looked terrific and they offered some samples of the food. We ended up getting the Big Breakfast and the food was really good. The eggs were fantastic. We definitely will be back to try out a dinner service.

  • Visited March 2014
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Popular weekend brunch spot”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2014

This popular weekend brunch spot features lots of fresh greens, a substantial menu, takeout, catering, and outdoor seating. I recommend the self-serve tea and coffee.

There's a cafeteria line for soup, chili, salads, and desserts, but you can wait to order off the menu when you reach the cashier. Lots to like about this place; the only con is the price.

A big plus is the wonderful, upbeat service.

  • Visited March 2014
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Top Contributor
72 reviews 72 reviews
39 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
“Disappointing”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2014

Our party of three ended up by happenstance in this restaurant as most tried and true restaurants in the neighborhood are closed on Mondays. The menu offers a large enough number of various dishes for most palates to find something likable. Our party of three settled on a hamburger, shrimp poorboy and a Reuben sandwich. The kale salad was interesting and tasted fresh. The hamburger ordered medium rare was well done and rather small. It came with a pickled cucumber slice and cauliflower floret on a soft bun. The French fries were soggy, limp and under-cooked! Same as on the Reuben sandwich that had a slight off-taste. The shrimp poorboy sandwich never arrived and was found sitting inside as the waitress was confused about the order. The bread was a very pale hoagie that would have benefited from grilling or toasting.

  • Visited March 2014
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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